Tishspiration Tuesday: How to find your own inspiration

Tishspiration Tuesday: How to find your own inspiration

#Tishspiration is defined as the Art of Surprising Yourself. I am currently working on my YouTube channel, #Tishspiration Station to help spread the word of this concept and upcoming book. As I reflect on what to include in the book, I also plan to share hints in the YouTube videos, and the posts here on Tuesdays right here, in my blog.

You might be wondering where this all started for me. I would have to rewind a few years back to explain. Here comes the tricky part. I want to tell my story, but not spoil everything I plan to write about in my book. I will absolutely be more forthcoming in my upcoming book. For now, I can share some details with you about what you need to do to start finding #Tishspiration in your life.

Open your heart

The first step is to open yourself up to the possibility of change. Find something which speaks directly to your heart, and incorporate it into your daily life. It could be something you see, hear or read for example. For me, an inspirational video was watched on a whim, at a low point in my life. It made me think about what I really wanted to do. The truth is, there has been a glimmer of #Tishspiration in me for my whole life. It just didn’t have a name or a definition for most of that time.

When you open your heart, you can take the first step. You can allow yourself to dream. We all have dreams for what we want out of life. Dreams can be the fuel to your reality. If you really believe, they can turn into jet fuel. Happiness is possible for everyone. Sparking joy does not only happen with items you decide not to purge from your life. It can also be about taking action on your dreams.

Next, you need to open your mind.

Once your heart is dreaming of what will make you happy, you need to then make a plan of how to achieve it. Spend some time thinking about the how, after you discover the what with your heart. Then find your reason, your why. It can only work if you believe, and it may not even be possible the first time you try. But you have to think until you have a plan.

To avoid being overwhelmed, write your thoughts down. Make a solid plan for what you want to do. Commit to breaking down the steps you will need to take to move forward. When you need help, ask. If you can afford to pay for what you need, do whatever it takes to prepare. If you are like me, and want to do as much as you can yourself, find support groups and peers who can guide you in the right direction.

Then, take action.

This might be the scariest part of all. It is okay to have apprehension when you try something new. Stick to your plan, and start acting on it. One step at a time, you can manage adding small changes up until they become a larger change. The only thing that can ever hold you back is yourself. It requires determination, and a desire to reach your goal. If you have these feelings rooted deeply in your heart, you will find the way to make things happen.

Celebrate every win. Contemplate every loss. The only way you lose it all is if you focus on the negativity, and negate the progress by doing so. We all want to succeed at our dreams, but it is not guaranteed to be easy, or done quickly. Give yourself time to learn what doesn’t work, and after that you try from a different angle. Reach out to your peers in both the good times, and the frustrating times. They can help you find a different perspective, and might be able to help you find the answers you need.

Finally, celebrate big wins and keep evaluating your plan.

When you invest your very essence into what your heart dreams of doing, you will have success. Changing your plans does not mean you have to admit defeat, rather it means you can evolve as your dreams do. For example, I have been dabbling in jewellery design for about sixteen years. When I started, I would follow the patterns in magazines exactly. Then I would play with the bead colours and sizes.

In order for me to infuse new life into my jewellery designing business, I changed the name. Tish’s Treasures became Tish MacWebber Always Blinging…and I brought my own designs to this website. The store is not flawless, but it is new. My designs are completely my own, though. Once I was comfortable trying different materials and drawing out my concepts, the joy I have from what I am creating is so much more intense than it was when I followed a pattern.

You see, it is more than just pride in my work. Which is important when you are creating original art. Whether it is the written words of an author, lyricist, or poet, the words are from the dreams. If your medium is paint, fabric, yarn or thread, the beauty of what you create is visually representing the dreams of your heart. If you create jewellery, and design it as I do, your dreams become tangible and visual. All of these forms of creativity are capable of bringing your dreams to life, and most importantly, the inspirations you have will certainly be able to inspire others to chase their own dreams.

When you find the sparkle in your eye, people respond.

I have been asked in the last few years about my motivations, and the resolution I have had to push my own boundaries. The fuel I talked about earlier is igniting progress, but it also lends itself to your energy in your heart. I can tell you that when it starts, it is a little spark inside, and people see the twinkle turn into a bubbly glow and they realize they are seeing something happen right before their own eyes. It is contagious, and other people want to know how to find this in their own lives.

In summary, this is a taste of what you can expect to read, in more detail, in my #Tishspiration book. I can’t wait to share it to help more people to find that little spark in their own lives. Once you get a feel for it, you want to keep it going, and it will change your life. As a result of reading my next book, you will gain the knowledge you need to start carving your own path to claiming your dreams.

Did you find this post helpful? What stage of your life are you in right now? Surviving or living to your greatest potential, out loud and in full colour? Are you lost in one of the steps outlined above? Please leave your comments below. I love to brainstorm, and if you are stuck, maybe I can help you find your way.Who knows, you just might surprise yourself!

#Tishspiration

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 62 Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 62 Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Happy Valentine’s Day! It seemed rather appropriate to write about the heart today. Heart health is important and should not be ignored. This post is not going to be one which is full of facts, spouting all the do and don’t guidelines for the organ’s health. Consequently, you are wondering, what am I going to write about?

The heart for me is a complicated topic. As a creative, I am very in tune with my emotions, which also relate to my heart. Every single beat of my heart wants to spread love and positivity far and wide. I have a strong heart, I am lucky. It can take a lot of use in its various functions, traditional and non-traditional. Let’s explore what I am writing about.

Traditional Use

The heart pumps blood to every cell in your body and back in an impressively short amount of time. Constantly. When your heart is physically healthy, it is powerful. I like to think of mine as strong. I have had concerns, especially since I am morbidly obese. As a result of my concerns, I do have it checked when something feels wrong. I have been assured that my heart is not the source of any medical concern when I do get it checked. This tells me it is strong, physically.

Regular exercise is something I have been slack – a- lacking on in the last few months. Several, if I am being totally honest with you. I used to go to Zumba on a regular schedule, twice a week. The location has moved, and with my previous work schedules, it wasn’t always possible to make it in time for the class. The summer was very hot and humid, the price of gas was another reason, and I just stopped going. Once in a blue moon, I would have all the stars align to allow me to go, but it was painfully clear that I am now really out of shape again. I may be in the worst shape of my life as I write this.

It’s not like I don’t know what I have to do. I have to actually do it.

I have to stop making excuses, and just exercise. Last week a good friend encouraged me to walk 20 minutes a day. I countered with a plan to dance in my living room instead. Then I didn’t take action. That is on me. I let one excuse become two and then I had seven days of excuses, with maybe five minutes of dancing in the bathroom the other day. I play music when I am in the shower. It helps to keep me on track, and starts my day off a little happier because I add in music. My feet don’t move when I dance in the tub, for safety reasons. Before I get into the shower, however, I may be moved to dance to a whole song.

My husband even gave me a deadline to get the living room cleaned, which I have held in my mind but not really acted on yet. I have started. I have puttered at it. But it is still an excuse. So I need to take action on this also. Any movement at all counts right now. I know it is important. It is time to change the tune inside my head, to maintain the healthy heart I have. It works hard, so I need to honour it by taking better care of it.

Non-Traditional Use

The emotional side of me is all heart. I want to help people, I want people around me to be happy. When I am working on this and focusing on the needs of others, rather than on my own, it can be exhausting. This is the type of person I am, and I am learning that I need to also be a protector of my own heart, so it stays strong, emotionally. It might sound odd from a scientific point of view, but it is my truth. My heart is connected to me, and to everything around me.

I have been known to go above and beyond what is required on a project. I am an overachiever. It is in my nature to put the needs of others ahead of my own. This is a common issue for me and for many other people. We want to make sure everyone else is taken care of before taking care of ourselves. This can cause me to lose sleep, and become difficult to be around if you are not the person I am working on the project for. When this happens, I should stop and take a break. If there is a deadline, even a self – imposed one, I am not always able to stop.

I need to be more aware of this so I am giving my best all of the time, instead of focusing it on one project and letting the other areas of my life fall aside; as if they are not important. As if I am not important.

My creative interpretation of a photo challenge prompt. Something she wore.

She wears her heart on her sleeve

One thing about being in touch with your emotions and embracing them means that if you are a heart-centered person like myself, we wear our hearts on our sleeves. I took red lipstick and black eyeliner to drew the heart on my arm to give a visual representation to what I know is my truth. I successfully completed the challenge, and have some remarkable photos I am very proud of taking as a result of participating.

This leads me to my final thoughts, back to emotions. I have been working on myself, and I am starting to see some positive results from the changes I am making. From the very heart of my being, I know I need to do more. It isn’t easy. If it was, we would all be healthy, active, emotionally balanced people. I embrace all of my emotions, and I need the full spectrum of what that means. I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

People look at me and assume that because I am morbidly obese, I am eating all the time, and lazy. I will admit to the laziness, I am working on overcoming it, in relation to my physical activity levels. This doesn’t mean I am not a hard worker, though. I give my all to everything I do work on.

Morbidly obese people who have issues don’t eat all of the time, however, we can eat our feelings.

It is not healthy, and I have done this to avoid facing my feelings. This is one very real thing that has contributed to my weight. It is not the defining factor, though. For me, it comes down to choices. I choose whether or not to be active. Choosing to eat a whole box of chocolates or a large bag of chips to eat my feelings away, instead of facing them. As a result of that choice, I may feel full, or even not well because of it, but I am not facing what is really going on in my life. Choosing fast food instead of taking an hour to cook. These choices add up. To one very important realization.

I am choosing the easy way because I do not feel like I am important enough to choose the better option. It is easier to avoid the issue rather than face feelings and deal with them. Choosing to do better is something I am working on. It is hard. There are so many choices available to me now that I am going to make the wrong ones sometimes. What do I need to do? Start taking action, by making better choices. This is truly the heart of the matter.

Let’s help each other to make better choices. How are you spending your Valentine’s Day? How are you showing yourself that you are important? Please, let me know in the comments.

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 14

Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 14

 

Trust Your Gut is a series of stories about real people with weight issues, and complications arising from those issues.  It will explain what the person is facing, what their options are, what they have decided to do to take action, and why they chose the path they are on.  Each person’s story will be based on truth, so it won’t all be happy, but it will be real.  The goal of this series is to get people talking about options that are available for people who have weight issues, on either end of the scale.  If you would like to contribute to this series, there is a contact form linked on my Homepage for this blog.  I know there are people out there that want to help people like them; as I do.

 

The names here may or may not reflect the person’s real name.  If someone wants to remain unknown, we will choose a different name for that person’s story.  The goal is to help people, and anonymity is a valid personal choice for contributors.  I will use a person’s name only if they give permission to do so.

This week I am pleased to share another of my own stories.

Here is  Trust Your Gut: Tish’s Story; Part 14

Getting back on track is easier said than done.  It takes determination and effort.  I have missed a few Zumba classes.  I went today.  I was eating anything and everything, the last few weeks.  I prep cooked earlier in the week.  My insulin is now working well enough to lower my doses again.  Some days it is a fight just to get motivated to do what I should be doing.  Other days I feel prepared to tackle everything.  I am gearing up for another run at living a healthier lifestyle.

Last week I was watching the scale climb.  This week it is starting to go down.  I am working hard to try and stay on plan as much as I can, and it is working.

The last few months I have been consciously trying to drink more water.  It is a good idea, not just for me, but for everyone.  It would be better if I enjoyed drinking water.  I have to force myself to drink water, sometimes.  I have a drinking buddy, my straw!  I need to get it in quickly or I won’t drink as much water in a day.  Straws certainly help with that.

It is time to get out the measuring tape again.  Still, nothing to report.  With the last few weeks of being sick, I will have to take the number on the scale moving down as my encouragement.  It is good that it is going the right way again.

My heart rate was steady in class.  I do love that I can check it.  Now I have to keep a better focus on what I eat and how much insulin I am taking because my body has come around to responding to it well, again.  That happens when I work hard.  I feel better so I want to do more and I do that and I feel even better.  It is possible.  Just not when I am sick. Everything goes out the window when I am sick.

I did go to the doctor last week.  He gave me a different antibiotic.  I bought a probiotic to take with it because we all know the warnings about what happens when you take one antibiotic, and now I have had to take two.  It has been a little challenging to keep track of when I have to take what medicine.  The good news is that it appears to be working, and worth the trouble.

This week I am feeling more optimistic.  When I feel like doing things, there is a better chance that they will get done.  I am finally feeling like trying again.  So lesson learned.  When my sugars are skyrocketing out of control, it is not me, or what I am or am not eating; I am probably sick.  Which is good to know, because I don’t remember this happening when I was off work with my infected knee.  There is a good reason for that. Painkillers.  I was on some heavy-duty painkillers.

I am sleeping better this week.  Quality sleep is also important in the struggle to live a healthier lifestyle.  If you are well rested, it will boost the energy.  Again, you can do more.  It can snowball in the right direction.  It is happening for me right now.  It can happen to you too.  If you need help, ask. Don’t be afraid.  If you don’t ask for help, it might be too late.  We are all worth helping.  We are all worth loving.  Believe it.  When you believe that you are worth investing your own time and energy into, good things will happen for you too. One change becomes two, then three and so on.  What change are you going to work on this week?

 

 

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Why I use a Pedometer in Zumba Class

Surprise at Zumba

A while back someone gave me a smart band to wear at Zumba Class.  I already had a pedometer, but this levels it up for me.  It also keeps track of my heart rate, which I also use now that I can.

It has been helpful to keep an eye on my heart rate.  I am able to work out a little harder because I know when I check it, the smart band will tell me if I am working my heart too hard, or not enough.

I report my steps on the Zumba page also.  When I started, I was told you can get up to 5,000 steps in a Zumba Class.  As there is a movement in the world to get a minimum of 10,000 steps every day and walk your way to a healthier lifestyle, getting 50% of those steps done in an hour is a HUGE ADVANTAGE.  So if you are thinking that it is just another dance aerobics class, you are setting your standards for Zumba too low.

I average around 4,000 steps in a class.  Sometimes less, sometimes more.  My goal is to have it increase to the 5,000 steps (or more).  Since I got the smart band, another member of the Zumba crew is using my pedometer in class.  She is averaging 5,300 steps a class.  I have got to say, she is definitely in the Zumba Zone.  It is absolutely possible, and realistic to aim for 5,000 steps while in a Zumba class.

What else do I love about Zumba?  The Zumba Crew, the music, dancing, and having fun!  I don’t do all the moves, I’m not always confident that I can do them all.  I am changing how much I do all the time.  Some days I push myself.  Some days just being there and going through the motions is all I can do.  But I go, and I participate, however I can.

Sometimes I have to stop and check my blood sugars.  Most of the time, they are normal.  If they are low, it means I have to drink a juice box before continuing my workout.  If they are still low after that, it means I need candy and to lower my insulin dose before the next class.

I have missed a few classes this spring because I have been sick.  Nothing serious, but I was not able to go in the last few weeks.  I look forward to going back this week.  Monday is Victoria Day so the next class will be Wednesday.  If I am feeling better, I may just push myself to hit 5,000 steps.  It is something to work towards, and when I get there, I will aim higher.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

My first Guest Blog, and a little more of the back story.

My first Guest Blog, and a little more of the back story.

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day 2017

Earlier in the year, Kirsty Allen, of her blog The Ramblings of a Madwoman posted an opportunity for guest blogging.  It interested me, as a newbie here, I wanted to give it a whirl and see what happened.  We were given a prompt, and I chose to write about a recent conflict.

I thought about it, as I am Always Thinking…

I replied with an idea about learning how to stand up for myself.  This is something that is a new skill in my life, and I have been improving it in the last few years.  I still have my moments, but I like to think I am more capable of defending myself than I was 10 years ago.

The last Wednesday in February is Pink Shirt Day in Canada.  I am all for raising awareness about the anti-bullying movement, and I shared reminders on my personal facebook wall the day before Pink Shirt Day, 2017.  It came as a surprise when I had negative replies in response to those reminders. I replied in the most constructive way I could, trying to turn around the negativity.  It didn’t go too far, and I did see that one person decided to express their negative thoughts on their own wall.  To each their own.  A good rule of thumb for social media.  If the discussion had continued to escalate on my wall, I would have had to take further action.  Thankfully, it didn’t.

In true Tish fashion, I had made a decision about the best way I could handle this.  I decided that I would use the anger and disappointment I felt as a result of what happened on my wall, and spin it in my guest blog post.

It was a challenge.  I started with the pantser approach I use, and just typed away.  The goal for the word count was 200 to 700 words, in short story format.  When I finished the rough draft, I had 1800 words, give or take a few.  So then I had to get really serious and edit the fluff out of it.  I have certainly had a lot of experience with bullies in my life, there was no shortage of examples.

After a furious editing session, I worked on it for 2 days or more, I had it down to just over 800 words.  I updated Kirsty with my progress and asked her about the size of the picture she needed for the submission to be complete.  With that information, I was able to send it to her.  Then I waited.  I am proud that I was able to send it in before the deadline.  That was important to me, as I am a procrastinator by nature.

It was hard to be patient, but I did that too.  I checked for a response several times a day, waiting for her reply.  I wondered if I missed the mark with the word count,  or if it was not going to be a successful submission.

When I saw Kirsty’s message, I was over the moon happy!  She told me that it would indeed be published, and that, “I really enjoyed reading your piece, it was so relatable and well written that I nearly cried. .” I quoted that at work and for a few days after that.  It validated my talents as a writer, and also really made me feel good that I accomplished the task at hand.

I am pleased to share this story here, in a link format.  There is a reason we Bloggers do this together.  We share stories on each other’s websites to challenge our own writing abilities, but also to increase traffic to each other’s websites.  It may not make much sense to those of you out there just reading my stories that I link to my wall, but in the blogging world, it does matter.  So if you like my story, and you take the time to read it, please take a few minutes to check out The Ramblings of a Madwoman by Kirsty Allen.  I recommend “It’s called Project Echo. We’re a top secret, select group of special people and we’ve been monitoring you.”, as I really enjoyed this story.  I was inspired when I read Motivation March, to leave a comment for her about this piece.  She is a talented writer, and I am liking her stories too.

Here is the link for my first guest submission on Kirsty’s website.  I hope you check it out.  I am proud of how it came together.

It’s not just about the pink shirt, it’s about changing your attitude

 

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